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than renew the spectacle of the divinest melodies and most exquisite cantos prostituted to the loathsome lecheries of a Don Juan. It is for them to do more than this. It is for them not merely to put the curb of conscience upon their own tongues and pens, but to be vigilant and active in counteracting and disinfecting the corrupting and polluted streams which may issue from the pens and tongues of others. The scholars and educated men of America must feel and realize that they have a new mission assigned to them, growing out of the nature of our institutions, and essential, vitally essential, to their maintenance, -- not that, mainly or primarily, of building up a permanent American Literature, but that of creating and keeping alive a sound, healthy Public Opinion upon all subjects of morality, religion, philosophy, and politics.

Honor to those graduates of our own and other Universities, who have already. laid the foundations of our literary renown by works of history, poetry, biography, and fiction, which have extorted a tribute of admiration from the old world hardly inferior to the glow of pride which they have kindled in the new! But this is the province of the few. A more practical and a more practicable service remains for the many. It is for them to meet the common and daily exigencies of our social and political condition. They must not reserve themselves only for the more stately occasions or the more critical emergencies of society. They must not discard even such commonplace things as truth, duty, virtue, patriotism, piety, from the list of subjects, which it may become even the most learned, the most accomplished, the most ambitious of them to treat. They must condescend to deal with common thoughts, with common words, with common topics ; — or, rather, they must learn to consider nothing as common or unclean which may contribute to the welfare of man, the safety of the republic, or the glory of God. It is theirs, by their efforts in the pulpit or at the bar, in the lecture room or the legislative hall, at the meetings of select societies, or at the grander gatherings of popular masses, in the columns of daily papers, in the pages of periodical reviews or magazines, or through the scattered leaves of the occasional tract or pamphlet, to keep a strong, steady current of sound, rational,

enlightened sentiment always in circulation through the community. Let them remember that false doctrines will not wait to be corrected by ponderous folios or cumbrous quartos. The thin pamphlet, the meagre tract, the occasional address, the weekly sermon, the daily leader, — these are the great instruments of shaping and moulding the destinies of our country. In them, the scholarship of the country must manifest itself. In them, the patriotism of the country must exhibit itself. In them, the morality and religion of the country must assert itself. 66 The word in season,” – that word of which Solomon understood the beauty and the value, when he likened it to apples of gold in pictures of silver, - it is that which is to arrest error, rebuke falsehood, confirm faith, kindle patriotism, commend morality and religion, purify public opinion, and preserve the State.

Here, then, brethren, where we first acquired so much of any faculty which we may possess for moving and influencing the minds of others, let us realize our responsibility for its use. Here let us resolve, that it shall be by no spoken or written word of ours that the public morality shall be shaken, the public faith unsettled, the public order endangered. Here let us resolve, that if wild and extravagant theories, --if the conceits and crudities of an unchastened speculation, -- if a spirit of insubordination to divine or human authority, - if a rebellion of the intellect against every thing worthy of being the object of faith, strangely contrasted with the weakest and most credulous entertainment of the most worthless superstitious impostures, - if a morbid sentimentalism, or a disorganizing socialism, or a disloyal sectionalism, or an irreverent and impious rationalism, - are to be among the dangers of our age and country, they shall find neither apostles nor apologists among us. Here, at these altars, let us consecrate our pens and our tongues, and all our parts and powers, as educated men, to our country, our God, and Truth. Then, then, indeed, — so far, at least, as we are concerned, — shall that mighty current of Public Opinion, by which the course of human events, individual, social, and national, is for ever to be so greatly directed and controlled, and from whose influence we cannot separate ourselves if we would, -- be no longer in danger of becoming, as it advances and widens and deepens, a rushing and a raging flood, overflowing its banks, sweeping away landmarks, undermining the fabric of free government, and prostrating the tribunals of justice and the temples of God, nor yet shall it be in danger of losing itself, at any time, in a dull, profitless, pestilential stagnation, — but peaceful, healthful, progressive, fertilizing, it shall realize the vision of the Holy Waters of Ezekiel, issuing from beneath the threshold of the sanctuary. It may rise to the ankles, it may rise to the knees, it may rise to the loins, it may rise to be a river, — "waters to swim in, a river that cannot be passed over;" — but upon its banks shall grow all trees for meat, whose leaf shall not fade; 6 and the fruit thereof shall be for meat, and the leaf thereof for medicine," and "everything shall live whither the river cometh!"

And now again, Mr. President and brethren, I turn once more, for a moment, and in conclusion, to the occasion on which we are assembled.

We have organized ourselves into an Association for the purpose of promoting the prosperity and welfare of this ancient and venerated Institution. We have come together at the prompting of a true filial piety, to concert measures for advancing the interests, and elevating the character, and extending the jưst renown, of a beloved and cherished parent. Ten years have already elapsed since our first Anniversary Celebration. Our first President, the accomplished, inflexible, and irreproachable statesman, - our first Orator, the learned, profound, and incomparable jurist, — Adams and Story,--are among us no more and those noble and congenial spirits, Pickering and Saltonstall, who were associated with them on our first Board of Directors, have gone with them to their reward. I know not how many others of those who were earliest and most active in our ranks are no longer numbered among the living. We may not shut our ears to the voice which thus calls upon those of us who remain, to redeem the time by the adoption of some more substantial and effective measures than have yet been attempted, for promoting the great ends of our Association.

We can do much, --- much by material aid, much by moral effort. And I rejoice to believe that the occasion will not pass away without the final arrangement of a plan, through which the good wishes and the good works of us all may find a worthy and noble consummation.*

But I cannot forget that there are others, not yet included in our ranks, upon whom the reputation of the College rests far more even than upon ourselves. No efforts to advance the welfare of such an institution from without, can ever supply the place of those which must proceed from within. It is not munificent endowments, it is not splendid establishments, it is not sumptuous libraries, it is not accomplished and laborious professors, it is not cheap tuition or free scholarships, — important and invaluable as they all are,

- which can make this University all that it might be, — all that we desire to see it.

The just reputation and renown of such an institution depend first and foremost upon the conduct and character of those who are successively the subjects of its care. Let there be seen here from year to year a high moral tone among the immediate students, a lofty standard of conduct as well as of scholarship, à spirit of devotion to duty, of fidelity to themselves, and of allegiance to the government of the College, and the prosperity of Harvard will be secure.

It is you, young gentlemen of the classes, who hold the destinies of the College in your hands, bound up in the same bundle of life with your own. And we are here to ask

to implore you, to deal considerately, kindly, justly, with them both. We have travelled the road before you ; we know all its temptations and trials; and we are here this day to bear witness to you, as you will bear witness in our place hereafter to those who shall succeed you, that there is not one of us, from the most successful to the most unfortunate of us all, -- from him who, having received ten talents, can this day produce other ten to the glory of God and his Alma Mater, to him who comes with his single talent, unimproved and hid in a napkin, --- that there is not one among us all, who has not wished again and again, a thousand times, who does not still wish, that he had made better use of the opportunities and advantages which you now enjoy. We are here to tell you, that there is not a recitation we ever neglected, nor a prayer we ever missed, nor an act of insubordination we ever committed, nor an unauthorized indulgence, nor an unworthy excess, of which we were ever guilty, which we do not remember with regret. We feel that nothing which we can do now, either for the College or for ourselves, can atone for what we left undone then. We feel that upon you, as Undergraduates, and not upon us, as Alumni, the hopes, the character, the honor, of our common mother primarily and principally depend. We appeal to you all, as those whom we trust soon to welcome within our own ranks, not to trifle with so great a trust, not to neglect so great a responsibility. To each one of you we appeal, in a spirit of more than brotherly regard and affection,- Reverere, reverere de te tantam expectationem!


* See note at the end.

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